Tulip time | 3 ways to feel the bloom in the Netherlands

It’s almost tulip time in the Netherlands.

Feel the bloom around North & south holland

It’s happening. Can you feel it? It’s springing up all over Northern Europe. Where you are too? Phew. We made it. Or at least I did. Even when armed with the tools for some cozy Danish hygge to help survive the dark days, I am always happy to see the first harbingers of spring when they happen. Here, it is the tiny white blooms of vintergækker, or snowdrops, that appear first on the scene. Even when they are surrounded by sprinklings of snow, I know that the rest of spring is blooming soon.

The peak of the spring season in Northern Europe brings blue skies, blooms, buds and blossoms. In the Netherlands, this means tulips. Whether you call them tulips, two-lips, chew-lips, tulipes, tulipaner or tulpen – they will soon be pushing up pretty all over the Netherlands. Between the end of March through mid-May, it is tulpomania further south in the Netherlands. And as there are many, many different varieties of tulips; there are as many ways to enjoy them.

While you can explore this region from a base in Amsterdam, we chose to plunk down right in the middle of the Bollenstreek, the Dutch flower bulb region. We stayed in darling little Haarlem, cobbled and canaled and café’d, it was the perfect post for our tulip tour.

Three ways to get your bloom on this spring in the Netherlands
1 | Bollenstreek | Flower strip between haarlem and leiden

The Bollenstreek offers field after field after field full of brightly colored tulips when in bloom. Our timing was perfect last mid-April and we were treated to a veritable fruit stripe of bulb-o-licious flavors. Even the teens were impressed.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Bollenstreek Flower Radar 

2 | KEUKENHOF GARDEN | LiSse, NL

The largest garden in the world, Keukenhof draws a million visitors each year during the eight weeks the blossoms are a’bloomin. Growers from the Netherlands and beyond plant brilliant displays that showcase their bulbs. Don’t think your kids will be smitten with hectares upon hectares of formal flower beds? Take a ride on the little canal or pet the baby goats. Seriously pet the goats. They are adorable. Playgrounds and places for picnics offer pauses in the petunias. I mean tulips. And daffodils. And hyacinths and poppies and crocus. Keukenhof writes the book on all things that bloom from a bulb.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Keukenhof
Open from 23 March – 21 May 2017
Every day 08.00 – 19.30
Tickets: Adults € 16 | Children (4-11) € 8

3 | BLOEMENcorso | FLOWER PARADE

For one Saturday and one Zaterdag only, you can find the famous Bloemencorso Bollenstreek as it rolls along a 40-kilometer route through all the small towns between Noordwijk and Haarlem.  Featured are around 20 large-scale motorized floats covered with flowers. It reminds me of the Rose Parade in my Portland, Oregon or the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California, on a slightly smaller scale. The Bloemencorso intersperses the floats with entertainment from live bands and local personalities. If only we knew what they were saying. I speak a little Danish, not Dutch – remember? Check the website for estimated arrival times along the route. Park nearby and join the tourists and the locals, you can’t help but be charmed and love the flower parade.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek
Saturday 22nd April 2017
9:30 parade departs Noordwijk
19:30 illuminated parade arrives Haarlem.
See specific route details and projected times here.

WHERE WE STAYED

We loved little Haarlem and stayed nearby at the Stayokay Haarlem hostel hotel. Dorm style rooms are affordable and family friendly – even for five. Breakfast included and funky bar with music onsite. When the weather is nicer, sit outside and enjoy the patio. Bicycles available to rent.

A full breakfast buffet is in this hostel included with a night’s accommodation. The buffet consists of organic bread, meats with a Beter Leven quality seal, fresh fruit, different kinds of fresh juices, dairy products, and various spreads.”

-Stayokay Haarlem

Stayokay Haarlem
Jan Gijzenpad 3, 2024 CL Haarlem, Netherlands

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63 thoughts on “Tulip time | 3 ways to feel the bloom in the Netherlands

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes – it was a fun trip! Do you remember exactly where we saw the fields of tulips outside Haarlem? Did you write it down?

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Oh yes! So many ways! We actually loved just driving around looking for fields – you can do bike tours or just bike the country roads as well. Now that would be fun!

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    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      If you’re REALLY into tulips – you can take a tours, but with teens in tow – this is about as much tulips as we were allowed to do! They actually had a good time. Cheers, Erin

  2. Those tulip fields are really amazing – I’d love to see them! What a great place to be to celebrate spring. The flower parade is also very impressive, such outstanding work. Love seeing the first signs of spring – “phew, we made it” is exactly how I feel #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Phew is right! It’s not all sunshine and rainbows here in Denmark, but the light is longer and the green is greening and the blooms are a’bloomin’! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes! Skagit Valley has beautiful tulip fields! My girlfriend was a Daffodil princess in highschool! There is a nice festival down outside Portland as well – they do hot air balloon launches from the fields!

  3. Clare Thomson

    Those beautiful flowers! I LOVE tulips and I can’t think of a better way of celebrating the new season than immersing myself in a field of them – or a Nike trainer! #FarawayFiles

  4. Wherejogoes

    I love floral art so these suggestions would be perfect for me! I’m sure the baby goats would be enticement for the kids. Would love to see the flower parade. Thanks for hosting #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      It truly is gorgeous and I will admit I preferred the open fields of colors over the structured formal beds at Keukenhof, but it was still super amazing to see all the variety there! Cheers, Erin

  5. Great guide, Erin. I am totally envious of flowers abloom in your part of the world. I know it’s just the beginning but at least you have something! #farawayfiles

  6. This is a bucket list item for me. JUST WOW! It looks amazing. I love how there is a crowd sourced map to help visitors locate the types of flowers they want to see. Simply beautiful. #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      There are some tulips that look kind of like poppies actually – they had every shape, size, texture and color you could imagine at Keukenhof. Amazing. Cheers, Erin

  7. tracycollins2016

    I am desperately trying to figure out how we can fit in (read afford!!) a trip to see the tulips before we move to Australia. I have wanted to see them for so long!!! #FarawayFiles

  8. Funny, when I was a kid my folks used to make us drive to the tulip fields in Mt. Vernon Washington and it was always such a drag… Now that I’m “all grown up” I’d love to make a trip like this! Your photos are wonderful! #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Haha! When you can sneak in poffertjes and stroopwafels to break up the tulip beds, our kids were happy to look at flowers! 😉

  9. annette @afrenchcollection

    Even a Red Bull car from flowers! A million visitors in 8 weeks is a very busy festival. Thanks for such a lovely dose of flowers… Annette #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes – it was crazy! The floats were very well done. Keukenhof is crazy busy, but not awful – the parking lot was probably the worst – it’s so big in there, seems to be plenty of space for all the visitors. But then again, we did not attempt to see them on a weekend! Cheers, Erin

  10. I wish I could go to these three places. I love everything related to flowers (it goes back to the flowers festival in Puerto Rico). The parade looks amazing! I will not want to miss it. #FarawayFiles

  11. Oh I recently learnt that there is a park in Northern Thailand that blooms with tulips during this season. It’s like Netherlands comes to Asia haha! Keukenhof Gardens is definitely on my bucket list for tulip season, the flowers are so beautiful and pretty. Hope to visit Netherlands in the near future 🙂 #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      That is cool! Fields of tulips are very popular in the States that I come from as well – there are tulip festivals in both Oregon and Washington. It is so impressive when you see so many in one place! Keukenhof pulls people from all over the world to see those beautiful flower beds! Cheers from Denmark Kat – have a great weekend!

  12. davemcclane

    I’d love to see more of the Netherlands s next time i’ll have o make sure to go in Spring so that I can see the tulips blossoming!

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      This is a multi-generation hostel and if you avoid giant school groups, it is the perfect base to explore and stay within budget. And for our family of 5, a standard hotel room rarely fits us – so sometimes a dorm room can be a fun option! My parents were with us too and there were groups of retirees on cycle trips. Good for all ages for sure!

  13. The baby goats at Keukenhof look adorable. The flower radar is useful to plan visits. I’d love to visit someday, when the tulips are in bloom.

  14. The tulips are so pretty! I’ve always wanted to go see them, but have never been in Europe at the right time (always end up there in either mid winter or end of summer). I’ll definitely be saving this for when I do make it over there in the right season!

  15. “Bloemenradar”!!!! Blooming awesome! Thank you for introducing me to this excellent resource. And, of course, as always, a brilliant post – cheers! #FarawayFiles

  16. I would love to go and check out the tulips in the Netherlands. Pretty sure my husband wouldn’t be so keen though – I’ll show him your post to convince him! x
    #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      He’s an outdoor guy right? How about a bicycle tour through the Bollenstreek? Or there are plenty of places for hikes – just its pretty flat. But you are rewarded with a gorgeous field of tulips from time to time! Cheers – thanks for checking it out, Erin

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  18. Tulips are my very favourite flower. I love the vibrancy and variety of colours and would absolutely adore these events. Oh, and thank goodness for spring!! You are not the only one 🙂 Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

  19. Oh wow how absolutely beautiful! We’ve seen a fair few bright blossoming tulips recently…they always make me happy! Gorgeous photos #MondayEscapes

  20. Anna

    I’d love to visit one of this places! The look amazing! The only blossoms we get in Athens are Jacarandas!! #mondayescapes

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